2017.03.08 Welcome to Japan in Cherry Blossom Season!

 The cherry blossom season comes later to the Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata areas than it does to Tokyo and western Japan. Why not take the time to enjoy some of the famous cherry-viewing spots as they gradually reach their peak? (Note that blooming periods may vary based on weather conditions.)

 

Tohoku area

 

A. Shizukuishi River Park

 

Iwate Prefecture



Rows of Yoshino cherries are planted along the embankment of the Shizukuishi River, which flows to the south of Shizukuishi Station. There are also carp streamers in the park every year during cherry blossom season competing for attention.

Peak season: Late April through early May

Access: Ten-minute walk from JR Shizukuishi Station

 

B. Shiroishi Riverside: A Thousand Cherry Trees at a Glance

 

Miyagi Prefecture




Some 1,200 cherry trees line the banks of the Shiroishi River, stretching nearly eight kilometers in length. The contrast between the bright blossoms and the snow lingering on Mt. Zao is a gorgeous sight to see.

Peak season: Early to mid-April

Access: Three-minute walk from JR Ōgawara Station

 

C. Eboshiyama Park

 

Yamagata Prefecture




See nearly a thousand cherry trees in 25 varieties bloom in full glory at this famous cherry-viewing location, which also offers panoramic views of the entire Yonezawa Basin. While you’re there, stop and relax at the free footbath in the foothills (closed during winter).

Peak season: Mid- to late April

Access: 25-minute walk from JR Akayu Station

 

D. Kasumiga-jo Castle Park

 

Fukushima Prefecture




The ruins of Nihonmatsu-jo Castle, also known as Kasumiga-jo Castle, have been made into a park famous for its cherry blossoms. See some 2500 trees large and small in full bloom. “Kasumi” means “mist,” and the cherries in full bloom create a beautiful haze of pink.

Peak season: Early to mid-April

Access: 20-minute walk from JR Nihommatsu Station

 

Nagano/Niigata area

 

E. Takada Park

 

Niigata Prefecture




The three-tiered Takada Castle and its surrounding area are home to some 4,000 cherry trees in glorious bloom. The castle is lit up at night, reflecting in the moat along with the cherry blossoms and creating magical views. 

Peak season: Mid-April

Access: 15-minute walk from Takada Station on the Echigo Tokimeki Railway Myoko Haneuma Line

Photo: Courtesy of the Joetsu Tourism Convention Association

 

F. Koboyama Park

 

Nagano Prefecture





The Koboyama tumulus is said to be the oldest in eastern Japan. Some 4,000 cherry trees cover the mound from its base all the way up to its peak.

Peak season: Early to mid-April

Access: 30-minute walk from JR Minami-Matsumoto Station

 

 

G. Shiroyama Park (Gion Castle ruins)

 

Tochigi Prefecture




In this famous cherry-viewing spot, the Yoshino cherries start blooming in late March, followed by the Omoigawa cherries along the Omoigawa Riverbank, which start blooming in early April. On clear days, you can even get an excellent view of Mt. Fuji.

Peak season: Late March to mid-April

Access: Eight-minute walk from JR Oyama Station

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